How come there has not been a great flowering of protest rock against Bush? We have books enough to kill a redwood or two. Most of the blogosphere. Some folks in the print media. But there hasn't really been any GOOD anti-war, anti-Bush record [please, no one call Mecha Streisand]. People tried to trouble the demure Thom Yorke for naming their record Hail to the Theif but that ain't no protest record (great as it is). Then, was the case of Dixie Chicks but that had zip to do with music. So, where are the protest rockers? No one has even mashed 1984 with The Candidate. And Rock Against Bush is not cutting it folks. I don't look to Sum 41 for ANYTHING while Billy Bragg has been whoring around a bit too much lately. Beastie Boys' In a World Gone Mad is terrible. What about stuff to match All Along the Watchtower, or What's Going On? or Ohio ?
If rappers of the present are the folkies of the 60s and 70s then, I would look to them. And, looks like Public Enemy has answered the call as well [thanks John].
We have Nas' Rule from Stillmatic:
[Chorus - Amerie, Nas in background]
All this hate can't last forever (uh, c'mon)
It's time that we stand together (yeah, for the world)
Everybody wants to rule the world (what, what, what, what, what, c'mon)
World (peace), world (peace), world (peace), world
Yo, there's brothers on the block, posted up like they own it
That's they corner, from New York to California
Got blocks locked down
Like, "dog you safe whenever you with me, see this is my town"
So the youngsters, grows in ghettos, goes to prison
At an early age, already know it's against him
So in order for him to survive, one day he must
Open up his eyes to the set backs and rise
'Cause, everybody wants a shot, in this land of opportunity
Look at what this country's got
There shouldn't be nobody homeless
How can the president fix other problems when he ain't fixed home yet
The earth wasn't made for one man to rule alone
To all colors increases, to home it belongs
I want land, mansions, banks and gold
The diamonds in Africa, oil in my control
The world's natural resources, all its residuals
But then comes foes, I have to gaurd it with missels
And I become the most wanted
But is it worth hearin a million people problems and followed by Secret Service
I guess, attempts at my life with loaded barrels
So move over Colin Powell or just throw in the towel, yo
John? Moacir? what can you add here... Lets make an iTunes iMix at least.
This is "War" off of Speakerboxxx: Now get the fuck up off me nigga.. [Big Boi] As I, struggle to keep my balance and composure I'm 'posed ta, propose a toast to players on every coast-a The lyrical roller coaster, mind-bender 'Stead of watchin these sucker MC's I'm seein just how they lyin to the general population Don't be patient, get up and stand up for your life Don't you agree or understand we lost some rights at 1-1-9? Come dumb, come young, come blind unwind confined to the situation, we facin, cause in time, tick tick boom [singers] Tick, boom.. tick, tick-boom Tick, boom.. tick, tick-boom Tick, boom.. tick, tick-boom Tick, boom.. tick, tick-boom [explosion forward and reversed] [scratched: "You're gonna die here" - 2X] [Big Boi] When will we all, awake up out this dream Come here and smell the Folgers, the soldiers are human beings Man actin as if he was the supreme bein Clockin the souls of men out like he was G-O-D and W-A-Rrah, there'll be no tomorrow but sorrow and horror will follow the hollow hearts battle for dollars Politicians, modern day magicians Physicians of death, more health care for poor health Who makin us ill, they makin us kill That's makin me spill my guts (chill Big, lay in the cut) For what? I refuse to sit in the backseat and get handled Like I do nuttin all day but sit around watch the Cartoon Channel I rap about, the Presidential election and the scandal that followed, and we all watched the nation, as it swallowed and chalked it up, basically America you got FUCKED The media shucked and jived now we stuck - damn! [singing - "can't be heard clearly"] [scratched: "You're gonna die here" - 2X] [Big Boi] Operation Anaconda - ask yourself was it full of bleeps and blunders, did they ever find Osama? And why in the fuck did Daniel Pearl have to pay the price for his life and his wife plead twice? See Al-Amin got life and Fred got dead, Hampton To dampen the dream of all the Panthers They got they answer for ransom As we read together, as we dream together Count your blessings whenever you feel that things won't be no better But it got to, you gave me this microphone so I must rock you Your brainwaves, airwaves, energized and SHOCKED you Y'all got me, well I got y'all, long as I know y'all listenin I'ma always bring food for thought to the table in the kitchen Now eat nigga!
verse 2 of "square dance" off of the eminem show (sorry if the formatting is off): Verse 2 Let your hair down to the track, yeah, kick on back Boo! The boogie monster of rap, yeah, the man's back With a plan to ambush this Bush administration, mush the Senate's face in, Push this generation of kids to stand and fight for the right to say somethin' you might not like, this white hot light that I'm under, no Wonder I look so Sunburnt, Oh no I won't leave no stone unturned Oh no I won't leave, won't go nowhere, do-si-do, oh, yo, ho, hello there Oh, yeah, don't think I won't go there, go to Beirut and do a show there Yeah, you laugh till your muthafuckin' ass gets drafted, while you're at Band camp thinkin' the crap can't happen Till you fuck around, get an Anthrax napkin, inside a package wrapped in saran wrap wrappin' Open the plastic and then you stand back gaspin', fuckin' assassins hijackin' Amtraks crashin' All this terror America demands action, next thing you know you've got Uncle Sam's ass askin' To join the Army or what you'll do for they Navy You just a baby, gettin' recruited at eighteen You're on a plane now, eatin' their food and their baked beans I'm twenty-eight, they gonna take you 'fore they take me Crazy insane or insane crazy? When I say Hussein, you say Shady My views ain't changed, still inhumane, wait, arraigned two days late, the date's today, hang me!
Other than the awful Black-Eyed Peas song with Justin Timberlake (perhaps a "What's Goin' On?" for this day), I can't think of anything else that might be close to good. No one with access to making good music wants to wreck their record deals. Note the lost causes involved in that one compliation. Astounding. Stereolab's "Ping Pong" is a great, seminal anti-war song, imo, and it fits with the Bush ethic rather well: it's alright 'cos the historical pattern has shown how the economical cycle tends to revolve in a round of decades three stages stand out in a loop a slump and war then peel back to square one and back for more bigger slump and bigger wars and a smaller recovery huger slump and greater wars and a shallower recovery you see the recovery always comes 'round again there's nothing to worry for things will look after themselves it's alright recovery always comes 'round again there's nothing to worry if things can only get better there's only millions that lose their jobs and homes and sometimes accents there's only millions that die in their bloody wars, it's alright it's only their lives and the lives of their next of kin that they are losing it's only their lives and the lives of their next of kin that they are losing [...] don't worry be happy things will get better naturally don't worry shut up sit down go with it and be happy dum, dum, dum, de dum dum, de duh de duh de dum dum dum... ah ah dum, dum, dum, de dum dum, de duh de duh de dum dum dum... ah ah Apparently, Super Furry Animals' "No Sympathy" is sung from the perspective of W. Sadly, SFA is Welsh, so they tend to keep their lefty politics out of American discussions. There's a level of political engagement on the new album, Phantom Power, but nothing (even "Liberty Belle") is appropriately anti-Bush.
Re; No one with access to making good music wants to wreck their record deals THAT is what pisses me off. I don't think it is the record companies even, it is Clear Channel - radio. Yet, look at the amount of hard, green cash the Dixie Chix pulled in after their comment/cover. And with iTunes around...I completely expect some group with good, savvy chops release a small side project. Remember the EXCELLENT remixes of Sun Ra's Nuclear War by Yo La Tengo released during the buildup to the Iraq War? The market is there and waiting. If only Jeff Tweedy wasn't drinking....